Postgraduate Research &
Innovation Symposium (PRIS)

Art meets science

Art Meets Science is an initiative that started in 2017 with the goal of producing art that is inspired by, or helps to express, scientific research. Although conceived as being located at opposite ends of cultural development, a fusion of arts and science has the potential to produce better contemporary arts and more holistic sciences. Take a look at this year’s exhibitions below.



The main goal of this high school competition was to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) and the 150th anniversary of the development of the Periodic Law of the Elements.

The South African Chemical Institute (SACI) in KZN arranged a competition for grade 10 learners to “Celebrate the Periodic Table by way of Art”. Groups of learners were challenged to design an artistic representation of the Periodic Table.

Ideally this was to be a movable object, so that it could be hung or suspended. The work had to be original, interesting, show command of the material being used, and impact the viewer in relation to the theme.

Winning entries are on display at the Postgraduate Research and Innovation Symposium.sanitation circular economy and the food-energy water nexus provide concrete examples of how research is enabling innovation.

The Neptune Project is a creative initiative of the South African Research Chair in Waste and Climate Change at the University of KwaZulu-Natal to use art to draw attention to the effects of pollution on the environment, especially the oceans, and to convey ideas for solutions emerging from high-quality scientific research conducted under the SARChI Chair.

The project aims to explore innovative and exciting ways to tackle waste and pollution, particularly the plastic pollution plaguing the country’s oceans, through recycling and re-use.

In partnership with Umcebo Design, is planning an art exhibition of recycled artwork at UKZN’s School of Engineering, to highlight the seriousness of the problem of plastic pollution in the oceans and the value of recycling at a community level. Umcebo Design is known for its range of hand-made decor items using various recycled materials inspired by flora and fauna themes, and is also developing new uses for recycled material.